This year's Academy Awards is filled with exciting pieces of cinema, from the unique cinematography of Birdman and Ida to the peculiar aesthetic of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Though a camera alone doesn't make or break the look of a film, it's still interesting to know which ones were used on Oscar-nominated films.
As you look at the list below, you might feel a strange sense of déjà vu, because this year, just like last year, ARRI was the go-to brand. The ARRI Alexa was used on most of the films nominated for not only Best Cinematography, but for Best Director and Best Picture. In fact, the Alexa was used on every single film nominated for Best Cinematography, except for The Grand Budapest Hotel. (We should've expected this, since Wes Anderson favors shooting on film.) Speaking of film, there was also a healthy number of filmmakers who opted out of shooting on digital in favor of using the Arriflex, Arricam, and Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, like Boyhood, Foxcatcher, and The Imitation Game.
Last year's nominated filmmakers seemed to have a little bit more of a varied taste, utilizing Canon's C-series (C300 and C500) as well as GoPros and the Phantom Flex. This year, however, there seems to be clear favorites not only in terms of cameras, but lenses as well. (Zeiss' Ultra and Master primes are quite popular -- for obvious reasons.) And once again, RED is nowhere to be found.
Okay, without further ado, here's the list of cameras and lenses used on the films nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Picture:
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), and Best Picture (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole).
Cameras: Arri Alexa M, Arri Alexa XT
Lenses: Leica Summilux-C, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Robert Yeoman), Best Director (Wes Anderson), and Best Picture (Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson).
Camera: Arricam ST
Lenses: Technovision/Cooke, Cooke S4, Varotal and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski) and Best Foreign Language Film (Pawel Pawlikowski).
Camera: Arri Alexa Plus 4:3
Lenses: Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Dick Pope).
Cameras: Arri Alexa Plus, Canon EOS C500
Lenses: Cooke Speed Panchro Lenses
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins).
Cameras: Arri Alexa XT M, Arri Alexa XT Plus, Arri Alexa XT Studio, Arri Alexa XT
Lenses: Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Nominated for Best Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Picture (Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland).
Cameras: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2
Lenses: Panavision Primo Lenses, Zeiss Super Speed Lenses
Nominated for Best Director (Bennett Miller).
Cameras: Arriflex 235, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2
Lenses: Panavision Primo and Ultra Speed MKII Lenses
Nominated for Best Director (Morten Tyldum) and Best Picture (Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman).
Cameras: Arricam LT, Arricam ST
Lenses: Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM
Nominated for Best Picture (Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan).
Camera: Arri Alexa XT
Lenses: Panavision Primo, C-, E- and G-Series Lenses
Nominated for Best Picture (Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner).
Camera: Arri Alexa XT Plus
Lenses: Hawk C-Series, V-Lite, V-Series and Angenieux HR Lenses
Nominated for Best Picture (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten).
Cameras: Arri Alexa, Arriflex 16 SR3
Lenses: Leica Summilux-C Lenses
Nominated for Best Picture (Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster).
Cameras: Arri Alexa, Canon EOS 7D
Lenses: Cooke Speed Panchro, Leica Summilux-C and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
If you want to learn more about the tech side of each of the listed nominees, including compression formats, aspect ratios, and sound mixes, just click on the titles to be taken to each of their respective technical specifications pages on IMDb.